USB has certainly been around for a while. Beginning in 1996 with version 1.0 and just 12Mb/s bandwidth, the USB or Universal Serial Bus interface quickly caught on as a popular way to connect external devices to a host computer. It took only four years to ratify a newer, faster USB 2.0 specification that increased bandwidth 40x to 480Mb/s, and that standard has existed basically untouched for the last decade. Beginning in January of this year, many debuting at the 2010 CES show, manufacturers began releasing products that support the latest iteration of the USB interface, version 3.0. Although it took twice as long to develop as 2.0, the 3.0 specification only increases bandwidth an additional ten times, to 4800Mb/s or what is commonly referred to as 5Gb/s speed.
Sunbeamtech has released a new USB 3.0 version of its popular Airbox 3.5" External SATA Enclosure which we have for review today. In addition to the Airbox, Sunbeamtech also offers a 2.5"/3.5" USB 3.0 docking station and a dual-port USB 3.0 PCI-E 1x expansion card. The Airbox USB 3.0 enclosure is identical to their eSATA version with the exception of the interface. It is an aluminum body, single 3.5" drive external enclosure featuring an 8cm blue LED cooling fan and detachable stand for optional vertical orientation. Join me as I take a closer look at the Sunbeamtech USB 3.0 Airbox external enclosure.